Pyramid Head: Character Analysis


Hannah Barham

The Silent Hill franchise has expanded across both games and movies. Pyramid Head first made his appearance in Silent Hill 2. Pyramid Head was the manifestation of James Sunderland’s guilt and Jame’s desire to be punished for the sins he committed, such as killing his wife, Mary-Sheppard Sunderland. Pyramid Head stands as a way for James to remember his humanity and to have his actions prey on his mind. Pyramid Head also appears in the 2004 Silent Hill movie adaptation, where the story takes a different approach. In the movie, Chris and Rose have adopted a daughter named Sharon, who dreams of a place called Silent Hill. She wakes up and has nightmares of Silent Hill. Rose decides to find out what Silent Hill is, and takes Sharon up there. However, they get into a wreck and Sharon ends up missing. Rose now has to navigate Silent Hill on her own, to find her daughter, along with local police woman, Cybil. And the same antagonist still stands: the Pyramid Head.

Pyramid Head has an appearance of being under 7 ft tall. Pyramid Head is built of that of an actual human male, with multiple scars along his hands and arms. True to his name, he dons a giant metal pyramid on top of his head, hiding his “face”, if he has one. Pyramid Head’s weapon of choice is a giant knife, which is called The Great Knife. This is the canonical design in the Silent Hill series. Pyramid Head is a downloadable character in Dead by Daylight, a popular survival horror game. In that game, his design changes a little bit. Instead of his usual Silent Hill attire, he wears this.. robe thing? It’s sleeveless, and it’s a little bit shorter than his other apparel in the other movie and game, which actually shows his boots. And he does hold the same knife as he does in other parts of the franchise, which is used to kill all the survivors. Pyramid Head has superhuman strength, able to fully rip the skin off of another human being. Pyramid Head’s abilities are Punishment of the Damned, Rites of Judgement, Final Judgement, and Cage of Atonement. Pyramid Head doesn’t seem to have a voice or any method of speaking, just breathing that bounces off the rusted metal of the pyramid. He wanders the halls of Silent Hill, dragging his knife behind him and waiting for a poor soul to enter the dimension.

So, what exactly is Pyramid Head’s role? What does Pyramid Head symbolize in the Silent Hill games and Dead by Daylight? Well, that’s the thing. He has different roles and symbolisms in each game/movie he appears in. First off, in Silent Hill 2, Pyramid Head is the manifestation of the sins and guilt of James Sunderland. Pyramid Head serves as a reminder that what James did still is here, and that it still preys on his mind. Pyramid Head is meant to serve as the punishment for James’s deeds. In the movie Silent Hill (played by Roberto Campanella) , there was a religious cult in the 1960s. There was a little girl named Alessa, who the cult bullied and prosecuted. Multiple times. The girl was believed to be a witch and was sentenced to burn at the stake. The police arrived when the church caught fire. Alessa was in bewildering pain, which caused the devil to take over her body and throw out any innocence that she had left, thus resulting in the birth of Sharon. Pyramid Head was the manifestation of the anger and vengeance that Alessa had, and Pyramid Head serves to protect Alessa in the alternate Silent Hill dimension. I know, it’s a lot. In Dead by Daylight, Pyramid Head goes by the name The Executioner. Just like his name insists, it’s his goal to punish those who cross his path through pain and torment. He tortures the last remaining survivors before sacrifcing them to the Entity with the hooks all over the map. However, it appears that Pyramid Head is an actual enemy of the Entity. He isn’t good, but he isn’t bad either. He wants to carry out his goal: torment and torture. (His chase music is really good though, 10/10 bop.) 

Pyramid Head is by far a noticeable horror character. It’s easy to look at him and think of how terrifying he is. I mean, he just walks around brandishing his big ol’ knife, and he can send you to literal purgatory if you even look at him. I think that Pyramid Head is such a great character, and his role has been branched out far beyond what the original creators expected. Is Pyramid Head a horror movie staple? Well, not many people are as hyped about Silent Hill as other people are, but some people love the franchise.